Forest Laboratories has seen its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings take a bashing as sales of its flagship product Lexapro were reduced by nearly $240 million due to generic competition.

Net income came in at $192.7 million, a fall of 40.3%, while sales decreased 8.7% to $996.9 million, Lexapro (escitalopram), the antidepressant licensed from Denmark’s Lundbeck, contributed $355.8 million, down from $594.8 million in the like, year-earlier period. Patent protection for Lexapro expired on March 14,

On the positive side, Namenda (memantine) for the treatment of moderate and severe Alzheimer's disease, reached $393.1 million, up 19.5%, while the antihypertensive Bystolic (nebivolol) jumped 32.6% to $96.9 million. Earlier this month, Forest agreed to acquire all US and Canadian intellectual property from Johnson & Johnson related to Bystolic for $357 million. Savella (milnacipran), a selective serotonin and norepinephrine dual reuptake inhibitor for fibromyalgia, brought in $25.3 million, up 6.5%.

Two of Forest's newest products were launched in August and quarterly sales of Daliresp (roflumilast) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease recorded sales of $13.1 million, while Viibryd (vilazodone) for major depressive disorder brought in $24.9 million. Sales of the antibiotic Teflaro (ceftaroline fossil), launched in March last year, reached $7.9 million.

Chief executive Harold Solomon said the firm has "just completed a remarkably successful fiscal year in which we further progressed our late stage R&D pipeline". He noted that in four years, five new products have been launched and Forest expects approval soon for its Almirall-partnered COPD drugs aclidinium and linaclotide, while New Drug Applications for the antipsychotic cariprazine and levomilnacipran for MDD later this year.

Mr Solomon went on to say that "we will have, perhaps, one of the largest group of new primary care and specialty product offerings in the industry" and its total of nine new products "will enable us to grow well beyond our present cliffs with a group of products with patent expiry in the next decade and some well into that decade".